A look back….
I used to be a pretty talented little person. This was before college, before the eating disorder, before the craziness could really engulf every action that I undertook. I was under 18–I was controlled by my parents. It was only once I gained that independence that I was able to control my own destiny–and subsequently run my potential and future into the ground.
I found this note from my Dad saved on the harddrive today. I cried when I read it.
This is who I used to be:
Just a written word to thank you for all the enjoyment we were provided by your basketball career. We know athletics is only a small part of your multi-talents and your greatest accomplishments are still ahead, but these past 10 years have afforded us great pride, satisfaction and reward.
We know how hard it was physically and psychologically for you to endure and succeed. You exhibited great heart and strength in the process and you are to be congratulated for that as much as for your many accomplishments and honors.
We will always remember the YMCA and the AAU leagues, (Where it became apparent that a real talent live in that body of yours), the 2-Ball Championships at the Compaq Center, the Hoop-it Up Championship, the blocked shot in your 1st 7th grade scrimmage, the many tournaments, you being brought up as a sophomore and Coach Porter saying, “we try to work on our trap against her but we can’t trap her!”, your first start against Westfield, your 4 3-pointers against Klein Forest and the crowd yelling “SUNNY,SUNNY”, your beautiful ball handling and your never coming off of the court, the All District and All County honors. The many compliments, (That girls got handles, wow, she can really jump, she never stops, she never quits, best girl dribbler I’ve ever seen, I love watching her play, if she only knew how good she can be, great shot just needs to shoot more, beautiful player.)
There are so many brilliant and positive memories, but I believe your true greatness was reflected in your toughness to play despite severe and persistent and scary breathing problems, to play through painful shin splints, to somehow give more when there was nothing left to give, to dislocate your knee and to say “I think I can play,” to run down that Klein Forest girl after re-injuring your knee, to finish first in almost every “horse” I saw you’ll run. These are the true signs of a champion athlete.
Conroe High has benefited from your fine record and the Tigerettee program has been made better by your participation and performance.
So congratulations, you make us proud. Now hang in there and finish with that 4.0 and #1 ranking and that will really warrant a loud “Whoop Whoop!”.
I’m older now. I’m 23. That time of my life is but a distant memory and as I type this now I am trembling and crying. It’s a tough thing to swallow–believing that you topped out as an individual at 17. I will never recapture the degree of confidence and pride I had in myself back then. I am a competitor at heart. It is so cliche to say it, but I do have the eye of the tiger when it comes to the fiercity of the moment–when I’m in that zone I am nearly unstoppable. I am fully aware of my abilities. I am passionate. I am always trying to determine my self-worth. Back then, I did not play hard for my own benefit, I played hard so that my parents would have something to be proud of. And I’m still searching for that sense of fulfillment. But, I’m struggling. I’m not sure if reading that letter made it better or worse, but it’s comforting to know that I meant something to someone at sometime.